King of the Congo

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King of the Congo
Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet
Wallace Grissell
Produced by Sam Katzman
Written by Royal K. Cole
Arthur Hoerl
George H. Plympton
Starring Buster Crabbe
Gloria Dea
Leonard Penn
Jack Ingram
Rick Vallin
Nick Stuart
William Fawcett
Rusty Wescoatt
Music by Mischa Bakaleinikoff
Cinematography William Whitley
Edited by Earl Turner
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date
May 1, 1952 (1952-05-01)
Running time
252 minutes
Country United States
Language English

King of the Congo was the 48th serial released by Columbia Pictures. It was based on the comic book character "Thun'da", created by Frank Frazetta.


The film series is a complicated serial with more twists than a maze that basically centers around a U.S. Air Force captain and his quest for missing microfilm that contains vital information. The heroic Buster Crabbe plays Captain Roger Drum, who shoots down an enemy plane on its way to Africa with the secret microfilm. Intent on revealing the subversive group that the message was for, Drum assumes the pilot's identity and flies to Africa himself and crashes in the jungle. He is rescued by the pacific Rock People, led by Princess Pha (Gloria Dea), and is renamed Thunda, King of the Congo, after he rings a temple gong in alarm. With the subversives believing Thunda is their missing pilot and under constant attack by another tribe called the Cave Men, our hero plots to bring down the subversives who are searching for a new metal more radioactive than uranium. At the end, Thunda (or Drum) clears the jungle of villains and reunites the Rock People and Cave Men.


Buster Crabbe Thunda/Capt. Roger Drum
Gloria Dea Princess Pha
Leonard Penn Boris
Jack Ingram Clark
Rick Vallin Andreov
Nick Stuart Degar
William Fawcett     High Priest
Rusty Wescoatt Kor
Alex Montoya Lipah
Frank Ellis Ivan
Lee Roberts Lt. Blake
Neyle Morrow Nahee


King of the Congo was both the last Tarzan-style serial and last serial to star Buster Crabbe.[1] Crabbe starred in nine serials between 1933 and 1952.

Chapter titles[edit]

  1. Mission of Menace
  2. Red Shadows in the Jungle
  3. Into the Valley of Mist
  4. Thunda Meets His Match
  5. Thunda Turns the Tables
  6. Thunda's Desperate Charge
  7. Thunda Trapped
  8. Mission of Evil
  9. Menace of the Magnetic Rocks
  10. Lair of the Leopard
  11. An Ally from the Sky
  12. Riding Wild
  13. Red Raiders
  14. Savage Vengeance
  15. Judgment of the Jungle


Filming locations[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut (1973). "6. Jungle "Look Out The Elephants Are Coming!"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9. 
  2. ^ Cline, William C. (1984). "Filmography". In the Nick of Time. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 253. ISBN 0-7864-0471-X. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere (1951)
Columbia Serial
King of the Congo (1952)
Succeeded by
Blackhawk (1952)